Baltimore Ravens

Bernard Pollard on defensive woes: 'I take it personally'

Strong safety Bernard Pollard was so angry after the Ravens' 43-13 debacle of a loss to the Houston Texans that he declined interviews afterward for the first time.

Allowing 420 yards of total offense at a clip of 5.5 yards per play, the Ravens' defense was dismantled.


Pollard broke his silence Friday, speaking for the first time since the Ravens' defeat at Reliant Stadium to the AFC South leaders.

"It's always frustration when we're not playing up to par," Pollard said. "For me, I take it personally. I really do. We just got to put together 60 minutes of football. We have not done that yet."


Pollard is on the injury report with a rib injury that hadn't been listed since the week after he first suffered a rib contusion in a loss to the Philadelphia Eagles. He has participated fully all week, though.

"You're going to have injuries," Pollard said. "We are banged-up, we're still banged-up. Nobody cares. You know what/ We're fighting, we're fighting and we go out there and we got to play."

Having plummeted to 28th in total defense (400 yards allowed per game), ranking 30th against the run (142.9 rushing yards per game) and 24th in passing defense (257.1 passing yards per game), little has gone right for the Ravens' defense except the most important stat: winning five of their first seven games.

The Ravens rank 17th in the NFL in scoring defense, giving up 23 points per game.

Their hope is that a bye week and some honest self-scouting will boost their prospects going forward.

"It gave us a chance to look at ourselves," Pollard said. "We watch the film, we talk to the coaches. We just emphasized playing together and healing. We emphasized that big-time. For us, man, we just got to go play."

On Sunday at Cleveland Browns Stadium, that will mean dealing with the challenge of powerful Browns rookie running back Trent Richardson.

Richardson is coming off his second 100-yard game of the season. The first-round draft pick from Alabama has rushed for 470 yards and five touchdowns.

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He rushed for 47 yards and a touchdown on 14 carries in the first meeting with Baltimore, a 23-16 Ravens win at M&T Bank Stadium.

"A hoss, a workhorse," Pollard said of Richardson. "That's why they drafted him as high as they did, and he deserves it. We got to know this guy will do everything he can to get extra yards. We have to gang-tackle him."

Meanwhile, Browns rookie quarterback Brandon Weeden is gradually improving and has two wins in his last three games.

Weeden has completed 1,912 yards nine touchdowns and 10 interceptions for a 70.8 quarterback rating.

"I see a guy that's more competent, a guy making throws down the field," Pollard said. "He's standing in the pocket and taking hits."